MELDERT Belgium- After two corona editions, the St. Ermelinda procession went out in full force again on Whit Monday. It began with the blessing of the well from where people are still happy to draw the holy water and take home. After the blessing we celebrated the Holy Eucharist in honour of St. Ermelinda, our patron saint, who lived and died in Meldert. It was presided over by Fr. Jan Tachelet smm and Fr. Nepo smm. Fr. Jan smm preached over the selfless service of St. Ermelinda for the poor and the needy. Her inspiring life of poverty, faith, and simplicity was admired by the people of Meldert and continue to find expression in her veneration. In this time of rising fear through a situation of war, suspicion, distrust, and terror she invites us to entrust ourselves in the loving care of God and develop a heart of mercy and kindness for the vulnerable, oppressed and victimized in the society.
The number of participants was again close to one hundred and fifty, not counting sheep and horses ... Young and old stepped up together and portrayed the life of our local saint. Drummers announced the arrival of the procession, and the occasional pipers-band determined the pace.
Fortunately, the weather was not a spoilsport this year, so decorated houses with the flag imprinted with the image of St. Ermelinda came into the scene. The recent “covid pause” could not prevent the many spectators, residents, and visitors alike, from following the procession with cheer and amusement.
The procession had stopped in two small chapels where the residents surrounding the chapels fell at their knees to receive the blessing after the prayer of adoration. The final blessing given from the podium erected before the church marked the end of the procession after which Fr. Nepo smm thanked the organizing committee, municipality, villagers, and the participants.
We are grateful to Fr. Nepo smm, Administrator and his confrere, Fr. Jan smm who guided us through the blessing of the source and the celebration of the Eucharist prior to the sacramental, which certainly attracted as many believers as in 2019.
Bravo to everyone who participated and helped and of course thanks for the flawless organization!
Peter Haegeman and Fr. Nepo smm